Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the major (and sometimes small, but interesting) international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of nice little bite-sized links for you…

COLUMBIA: The ICRC has facilitated the FARC’s release of five hostages. (Four on Sunday and one more just yesterday.)
GAZA: The ICRC has helped restore water pipes for thousands of people so far, but there’s a lot more work to do. Some 300,000 people still have no tap water.
ZIMBABWE: The cholera epidemic rages on. Read IFRC aid worker Matthew Cochrane’s daily Zimbabwe diary on BBC News (or on our own Red Cross Chat). 
SRI LANKA: As fighting continues, displacing thousands of people, the ICRC is helping families to connect across the front lines
GEORGIA: The IFRC is giving winter clothing and blankets to more than 1,200 people who were displaced during last year’s conflict and are struggling through the frigid Georgian winter. 
UNITED STATES: To end this post on an interesting and uplifting note… An American custom oil painting company is auctioning off the “world’s largest oil wedding portrait” to benefit the work of the IFRC.  Bidding ends Feb. 10th. The winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day.